Play “Misty” for Me, or Maybe Something More Artificial?

Please allow me to explain.  One of the things that artificial intelligence (A.I.) can do with relative ease seems to be  writing music that we all have probably heard as background music for commercials on TV, or in elevators, etc.?   It would likely be a gentle piano piece.  Its melody is simple, and is unsubtle in its melancholy and tone.  What do you expect?  It was written by a machine.

Most people working on A.I. have focused on classical music, but many are convinced that composing a short, catchy melody is probably the more difficult task.  A compelling song is actually a rare and fragile object.  It can only work if all the dimensions are right: the melody, the harmony, the voice, the dress of the singer, the discourse around it – like, “Why did someone write this song?”  No one is able to model all that right now, but many are interested in the problem.  Some rock groups are experimenting with computer-generated music, but do not foresee their listeners accepting it entirely.  “Music fans need to fall in love with musicians.  You can’t fall in love with a computer.”

We all obviously have a choice in what we like to listen to, computer-generated or something more “human.”  Even with all the contributions that the computer can make in creating music, some still observe that they “don’t know why they want to make music.  They don’t have any goal, any desire.”

Ray Myers

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